The City of Miami will open its recycling center to residents wanting to dispose of their live Christmas trees, city officials announce.

“With the start up of our recycling program, the city now has the equipment and manpower to accept our residents’ Christmas trees,” said assistant city manager Tim Wilson.

The trees will be chipped into cedar mulch that will be suitable to use in landscaping, according to Wilson.

“Residents will be able to dispose of the Christmas trees during normal operating hours in the yard waste area at the city’s solid waste facility located south of the airport,” Wilson said.

Availability of the cedar mulch, available at no cost, will be dispensed on a first come, first served, basis.

In addition to mulching, the National Christmas Tree Foundation suggests other alteratives for disposing of holiday trees.

“Try donating your tree to a wildlife rehabilitation center where it can be used to provide cover for birds, chipmunks, raccoons and other small wild animals, protecting them from predators as well as shielding them in harsh weather,” said Rick Dungey of the National Christmas Tree Association.

Those who have a lake stocked with fish can drop the tree into the lake to create “habitat improvement structures” where fish can hide and find food, according to Todd Richards, a fisheries biologist in the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game.

“During an experiment in a Massachusetts lake, state biologists saw a fivefold increase in the number of fish caught around sunken Christmas trees compared to other places in the lake,” Richards said.

From staff reports